The power outage that affected more than 2 million people in and around Los Angeles on Monday was triggered by an unlikely source: A utility crew installing a system upgrade.
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power workers cut several cables incorrectly, slicing the thin wires as a group, rather than one at a time, said Ed Miller, director of Power System Operations and Maintenance for the department. That triggered a short and tripped circuit breakers.
The surge in electricity to the remaining lines overloaded the system and caused a shutdown at the power receiving station where the DWP employees were working. The station converts high voltage power from area generating stations to low voltage power used by businesses and residents.
The systemwide alert prompted two generating stations and other receiving stations to shut down as well. As a result, the department began "shedding" customers, cutting power to people across the city to stabilize lines.
Now what normally happens to the people involved in this kind of screw up? Disciplinary action? Firing? Being relegated to changing bulbs in city street lights? I am thinking here of whoever is the owner of the hands that cut said cables...
How is it possible to simultanously cut thru multiple high voltage conductors and not instantly become one with the universe so to speak? Backhoe? Certainly not any ratchet cutter as the blades would surely blow apart upon phase to gr or phase to phase short circuit?.
#56036 - 09/12/0511:20 PMRe: Hey High Voltage guys, any thoughts on this one?
I would tend to agree with High Potter. SCADA (Supervisory Control And Data Acquistion) is known for bad outages if it fails. I've worked with it for 10 years. It's not the be all or the end all to PoCo problems. As an Industrial Electrician, we had a SCADA system take down our entire 3000 tonne Refigeration plant.
#56039 - 09/13/0505:11 AMRe: Hey High Voltage guys, any thoughts on this one?
I KNEW it was the comm guys. They said on the radio yesterday that someone had cut an HV circuit while it was loaded and energized yesterday, I knew if that were true, we'd only have to check the trucks in the lot tonight to see who disappeared.
Glad to see it was a SCADA error and not someone flaming out.
Ya know there's really only one thing a fella can say to an "OOPS" like that:::
#56040 - 09/13/0505:24 PMRe: Hey High Voltage guys, any thoughts on this one?
Quote: "Now what normally happens to the people involved in this kind of screw up? Disciplinary action? Firing? Being relegated to changing bulbs in city street lights? I am thinking here of whoever is the owner of the hands that cut said cables..."
If it was my guys, I'd ask them if they knew what they did wrong. When I was sure they did, I ask them if it's likely it'll happen again.
So far, that's all it takes. They take their jobs seriously and I don't see punishing them.
When I've done the same thing (and I have), management treats me the same way.
Besides, the only guys making mistakes are the ones that are busy.
#56041 - 09/13/0505:39 PMRe: Hey High Voltage guys, any thoughts on this one?